Carol of the choirs

On December 13, the CFHS choir preformed their annual Christmas concert.


Grace Miller

The choir sings under the instruction of their conductor, Mrs. Franke.

On Monday, December 13, the Cannon Falls Choir Department had its second concert of this school year. The concert included performances from the 6th-grade choir, 7th and 8th-grade choirs combined, the High School Concert Choir combined with the 9th-grade choir, the Jazz Choir, and two solos. The choirs were directed by Sue Franke, the choir teacher.

The evening began with the Jazz Choir’s performance of “The Twelve Days After Christmas,” a humorous turn on “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” with a solo by Erin Kremers. The choir also performed “Where Are You Christmas,” originally sung by Faith Hill for the live-action version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas. This performance had solos from Teagan Strecker, Kendall Lawless, Bennett Lochner, Kayli Turner, John Delk, Sophia Hanson, and Ashlyn Sjoquist. They also sang “Forever Country,” a mashup of three country songs.

Following the Jazz Choir, the sixth grade choir students performed “Christmas Time Is Here” from A Charlie Brown Christmas, “He Is Born with Pat-A-Pan,” “Something Told The Wild Geese,” and “A Tongue Twister Holiday” to work on their diction skills.

Senior singer Miah Barsness performs her solo with Kathy Illa’s accompaniment on the piano.

The seventh and eighth grade choirs sang together for their four songs: “Deck the Hall,” “Sing We Now of Christmas,” “On A Cold December Night,” and “So ‘Baroque’ At Christmas.” The older middle schoolers were able to work on more complex songs than the younger students and improve on the baseline skills learned when they were younger.

Between the middle school choirs and the high school choirs, there were two solos performed by older students, accompanied only by the piano. Miah Barsness performed “River,” and Kendall Lawless performed “Silent Night.” This was an opportunity for the singers to display their vocals not as a part of a whole choir, but as a stand-alone voice. Lawless sang “Silent Night” as a Christmas surprise for her mom, as it is her favorite Christmas song. “Since this is such a well-known song, I practiced a lot with Mrs. Franke since I couldn’t practice at home. I think the most difficult part was practicing away from home,” Lawless explained. “My biggest triumph from singing this solo was seeing my mom‘s face when she found out I was singing Silent Night.”

Following the solos, the ninth grade choir and the concert choir combined to sing “Carol of the Bells” with a featured solo from Sonya Milkova in Ukrainian and “Russian Dance” as acapella performances, without accompaniment from a pianist. “Psallite” was performed by the students in the original German and Latin composition. “Music In Stillness,” performed second-to-last, is an eight part piece. Franke explained how she prepared the students for their parts: “It was a challenge for the students to be able to split and hear their part. I make recordings of the song on the Clavinova after looking over the music to see if I have the voices to sing those parts. I upload all the parts to Schoology for the students to use. I also post a recording of another choir singing the piece for reference. We work the parts in sections then add all together with dynamics and expression. We are always chasing perfection.” Under the direction of their teacher, the students were able to piece the songs together, along with the accompanying pianists: Kathy Illa, Jane Peterson, Debbie Stark, and Jane Bracken.